Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Q 4 a B-Fly "Bag Lady"

Q: How do I let him go or better, how do I move on? ~ Anon

A: So you want me to tackle the hard stuff, eh? Okay, by no means am I a relationship expert but I happen to know a thing or two about letting go of foolishness and moving forward. And by foolishness, I am not trying to belittle what you are going through. I'm just at a point in my life where, looking back, it was a whole lot of foolishness I've endured over the years. And hopefully, one day, you will label it as foolishness as well.

So how do you let him go?? At the end of a relationship, someone is left holding the bag - the bag of dreams deferred, the bag of emotions, the bag of whys and how did this happen, the bag of hurt. And unfortunately, in this situation you're it. Like Ms. Badu sang, "Bag lady, you're gone hurt your back/Dragging all them bags like that". My experience has taught me that creating closure is like spring cleaning for your heart, an opportunity to dump these bags and lighten your load. You're seeking closure and this person will never give it to you. EVER. No answer he gives will ever be a good enough reason for breaking your heart. Start off by packing up everything that reminds you of said ex - the cards, the pictures, the cute undies in his favorite color, ALL OF IT. Next, write him a letter. Tell him exactly how you feel. I don't care if it makes War and Peace look like a pamphlet. Take your time and GET IT ALL OUT. Every point you want to make, no matter how hurtful, how silly, how petty it may be. The point is to purge. However, you are to NAYVER mail this letter. Place the letter in the box with your relationship mementos and hide it from yourself. Put it in the back of your closet, out in your garage, your parents basement, somewhere where you won't see it everyday. One day, when you're ready you will open the box and will no longer feel the same, so you will be comfortable with throwing out its contents (and buy you some new panties in YOUR favorite color. hahahaha).

Whenever I've gone through my "moving on" phase at the termination of my girlfriend policy, I thought of it as a competition between the offending ex and I. Instead of my teammate, he became my opponent. Whenever I felt down, I felt like he was winning and hell if I wanted him to beat me in this "game". I know this sounds silly but it helped because I would acknowledge the sadness and do whatever I had to do to move past it, similar to how a football team identifies the play of the opposing team and does whatever the hell they can to stop them from gaining yardage (I know this is a weak sports analogy but give me some credit for trying, okay *wink*). Every happy memory of "us" was replaced with how he treated me in the end. Now, I can look back on fun times with some of my exes but its devoid of the emotional attachment attributed to that memory. It takes time to get to that place though. "Remember him at the end" became my mantra after each breakup until I got through and got over.

Next up, dating. Yes, I know dating is scary. But its a necessary evil in this love journey of life. It's so easy to hold on to the love we had. But I had to learn that the love you had will not call you, just to say "hi" (unless he's a stalker; another story for another day). The love you had won't compliment you on your new hairstyle/outfit/career accomplishments; it won't take your car for an oil change; it won't keep you warm at night. By not dating or, even worse, comparing each date to the ex you are robbing yourself of any opportunity to grow and move on (sidebar: if your ex was all that great to be the barometer by which you measure everyone else, he would still be with you. So he ain't that great.). And trust and believe me when I say, you will meet some sorry ass dudes who will make you want to curse your ex out and gouge his eyes out for making you a single woman again who has to go out and meet these losers (do you remember my chaperoned date??!! LOL). BUT you will also meet some really nice guys that even for one night, you will fall asleep thinking about someone other than him. So, you have to be open to it. Sometimes, someone else helps. And that someone else doesn't have to be "The One", he can be "The One for Right Now".

This may not work for everyone, but I started dating IMMEDIATELY after my last breakup. Not on some "he got a boo so let me get one too" mission. For me, I didn't want my ex to be the last guy I laughed with, the last one I shared a nice meal with, the last one I kissed, the last one I....well, you get the point. He didn't deserve that distinction. But again, I think that speaks to that competitiveness I spoke of before. I didn't go out often but enough to see that I was gonna be just fine (cue Mary).

Some other tips include:
1. Change his name in your phone. Change it to something that will remind you not to answer if he calls or not to lose your dignity by calling him.
2. Find a non-relationship outlet. For me, it has always been writing. Take a kickboxing class, paint, study Arabic, anything to focus your energy elsewhere.
3. PRAY. I know this should have been first but PRAY, girl!!! Whatever your spiritual center is, turn to it. Pray, meditate, chant, whatever you have to do, do it. I prayed everyday the same prayer - to get me through the hurt, the pain, and to smile again. And when that prayer was answered I prayed for something else.
4. Seek help outside of your friends. As much as we love and rely on our friends, sometimes they can barely help themselves, let alone help you. And really, after a while, they get tired of hearing about your same shit over and over. Seriously, pay someone to listen. If you feel that you're just not coping, seek therapy. Therapy doesn't make you crazy. Not seeking professional help, however, does. A trained professional will help you identify why you aren't letting go and provide you with the tools to move on.

People often say "Time heals all wounds". Well I disagree somewhat. I say "Time coupled with action heals all wounds." Time alone can drag on and leave you right where you stand if you don't do anything about it. I read a quote the other day (and posted it on the book of Face).

"I have found that if you love life, life will love you right back." ~Arthur Rubinstein

I hope this helps. Like I said, I'm not a relationships expert (aka "don't sue me"). But keep me posted on your progress.

The Resident Butterfly
PS You know I had to post this right.....LOL

and this....LOL

What else do you want to ask?? Ask, ask, ask away!!! Go to http://www.formspring.me/ButterflyRefuge or just enter your question in the box to your right. Keep asking and I'll keep answering. :)

Oh and yes I know this post is late. As you can tell from the date, I started this with all intentions to finish it on time for Tuesday. There is just a lot going on right now and I'm working on managing my time better. I hope you understand. If not, kick rocks sucka!!! hahahahahahaha

1 comment:

rashad said...

Well done Janelle. Three years ago there's no way in the world you could have written an answer to this topic this eloquently